Veterans Affairs – All-Bill Summary 2020

All bills assigned to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature in 2020.

SF 280 – Armed forces residency for hunting, fishing, trapping

SF 280 allows active-duty members of the armed services stationed and domiciled at the Rock Island Arsenal to qualify as Iowa residents for hunting, fishing and trapping privileges. Their spouses and dependents also qualify. This change mirrors legislation enacted in 2019 that allowed these service members to qualify as Iowa residents to register their dependent children in Iowa school districts.
[6/5: 50-0)]

SF 388 – ‘Iowa Medal of Honor’ Highway

SF 388 designates the segment of U.S. Highway 20 between Sioux City and Dubuque as the “Iowa Medal of Honor Highway.” The Department of Transportation will adopt rules to provide for an application, approval, and inspection process for the purchase and installation of signs by private entities indicating the designation. All costs and expenses will be paid by the private entity whose application is approved. The Department may approve more than one application. Any sign placed must include a depiction of the three versions of the U.S. Medal of Honor for the Army, Navy and Air Force. The American Legion of Iowa worked in coordination with similar efforts in the 11 other U.S. Highway 20 states. The route stretches between Oregon and Massachusetts.
[6/10: CONCUR 49-0 (Absent: Feenstra)]

HF 717 – Veterans preference appeal rights

HF 717 expands the time for a veteran to appeal a hiring or demotion decision based on the veterans preference law and requires certain information to be provided to veterans regarding the program. It mirrors Iowa Civil Rights Commission timelines under Code Ch. 35C:

  • Duty to Investigate and Appoint (35C.3) – When information is sent to a veteran regarding refusal to employ, under code 35C, it must include information on the right for judicial review, the right to an appeal and the time to file an appeal.
  • Mandamus-Judicial Review (35C.4) – An action for judicial review must be filed within 300 days after refusal to allow preference, or a reduction in salary or position with the intent to bring about the resignation or discharge of the veteran.
  • Veterans Preference-Removal-Certiorari-Judicial Review (35C.6) – If a veteran is removed from their position of employment, they must be given written notice of the right for a review. The review must be filed within 300 days.

HF 717 passed the House 98-0.
[6/5: 49-0 (Absent: Zumbach)]

HF 2236 – Prohibits county recorders from charging fee to examine, copy veterans records

HF 2236 provides that a county recorder cannot charge a fee for examining or copying public records needed to complete and file claims for veterans benefits with the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Iowa State Association of Counties supports the proposal. The bill passed the House 96-0.
[6/5: 49-0 (Absent: Zumbach)]

HF 2312 – IVH admission eligibility affidavits

HF 2312 repeals the requirement that an individual applying for admission to the Iowa Veterans Home file an affidavit signed by two members of the commission of veteran affairs of the county in which the person resides relating to eligibility requirements for admission. The Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs is in favor of the proposal. The bill passed the House 96-0.
[6/3: 49-0 (Absent: Hogg)]

HF 2382 – Confidentiality of veteran information when applying for tax credits

HF 2382 states that the name and address of individuals allowed a disabled veteran tax credit or a military property tax exemption and maintained by the county recorder, county assessor, city assessor or other entity are confidential. Those entities may share this confidential information upon request to a county veterans service officer for purposes of providing information on benefits available to veterans and their families.

Previously, the names and addresses of veterans who receive disabled veteran tax credits or military tax credits were not protected, and businesses or individuals would ask for a “roll-out” of all names and addresses. Most of these requests are for solicitation purposes, and some may be unscrupulous people who prey on elderly, disabled and retired servicemembers or their surviving spouses. The Iowa State Association of Counties, Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Iowa County Recorders Association support the legislation. The bill passed the House 98-0.
[6/3: 49-0 (Absent: Hogg)]